Developer of Universe Web Browser returning to active webOS development | webOS Nation

Developer of Universe Web Browser returning to active webOS development 15

by arthurthornton Tue, 24 Apr 2012 11:09 pm EDT

Developer of Universe Web Browser returns to active webOS development

One of our favorite developers, Donald Kirker, has announced via his company blog that he plans to return to active development of his prize application, one of our favorite (and admittedly one of the few) web browsers for webOS, Universe Web Browser. Kirker announced that he has begun development of version 2.0 of Universe, and while not announcing a release date he did note that the code will likely end up on his GitHub code repository for the browser before it makes it to the App Catalog. In addition to this, he announced his intentions of working on a version of Universe formatted for tablet screens.

Kirker also made mention of his role in webOS Internals as their chief WebKit guy and and his work on the open source Isis web browser for webOS, possibly implying a connection between Universe and Isis. At the very least he indicated that he plans to add some hooks into Isis for Universe so that he can add extra features currently not possible in webOS, such as user agent switching, the ability to disable images, text reflow, and "many reported rendering bugs." Kirker presumably was unable to add in many hooks to the WebKit engine included in webOS during his time at HP, as they still do not exist in the latest versions of webOS.

We look forward to what Donald can bring to Universe 2.0 and the tablet version, as well as what contributions he can make to Isis and to making it widely available to homebrew users. We welcome his return to webOS and will be closely following his work on both Universe and Isis, anxiously awaiting the day we can install Isis onto our TouchPads to upgrade our browsing experience and install Universe 2.0 onto our phones so we can get a better browsing experience there as well.


Hoo-Ray! Universe for Pre 3??

If you really want to you can actually grab the source code from Donald's GitHub and install it onto your Pre3. That's what I just did :)

(and yes, I've been a long-time supporter of Donald/OpenMobl and bought Universe as soon as it was available a year ago)

I second that!!!

I would pay a king's ransom for reflow in a webos browser...

I hope he continues updates this second go-around. Universe had promise, but it had a few nagging bugs that were showstoppers for me so I ended up abandoning it. I understand the circumstances, but then he should've pulled the app if he knew he wouldn't be supporting it while he was working at HP. Hope he doesn't release and forget with 2.0.

Great news to hear that someone has faith in webos! I have faith too but we have to get some news on how we will get webos back on phones andntablets. Software and apps are great but they are useless without HARDWARE!

I loved the promise of Universe, but it suffered the same issues and failings as the stock browser and it was slower.

It was completely and utterly useless.

Hopefully this will be more useful, though I've a sneaking suspicion it will not target webOS 1.4.5.

Gonna be awesome. Can't wait! 2013 is looking more & more promising!

Good news for webOS!

Really good news for webOS. I would suggest that something very promising is happening within HP and webOS internals and no-one can tell us something because of the nda's. Probably the best news we get without someone breaking them. Hope new hardware is among the new items being developed.

Agree that there must be more to this than appears on the surface. Good omen IMHO.

Hi,i am a chinese .could u tell the real means of this sentence" he did note that the code will likely end up on his GitHub code repository for the browser before it makes it to the App Catalog“?

That means he has a GitHub account ( ). You can find the source code of Universe 1.0 there ( ) and you will probably find  the code of Universe 2.0 there. You can download the code and use the Palm SDK to create an IPK from that and install it with on a device.
I thnk that is what you were asking for, because there is no App Catalog in Chin, right? Yes, there is a way to get the Universe Browser for free. And the same way will be open fpr Universe Browser 2.0.

what are the chances this new browser would make hulu work?

With Universe 2.0 or the tablet version, no chance because they won't alter the built-in version of WebKit on webOS, so far as I know.

With Isis on an Open webOS device, also no chance because the Flash plugin is not going to be one of the open source components - HP can't open source what doesn't belong to them.

With Isis on a closed-source webOS TouchPad - slight chance, however Hulu's been good at detecting the TouchPad's mobile flash time and again so I wouldn't trust this to last long if it ever were to work.

In short, there's little chance it's going to happen, sorry.